There’s no shortage of cable locks on the market, so trying to pick one can be pretty tricky. Fear not, Bikmo is here to the rescue.
What Are They Made From?
The basic elements of a cable lock are a steel cable core, wrapped in a coating to insulate it, both adding to its ability to protect your bike and protecting it from the elements.
Steel cable is very tough, flexible, and in the case of locks, more is definitely better. The thicker the cable, the more resistant it will be. High-end locks double up on security by adding overlapping shells into the mix, acting like scale armour. These shells form a solid barrier around the cable, whilst allowing for the same flexibility.
The outer coating is usually made from PVC, which prevents damage to your bike frame, and keeps the lock waterproof.
Locking mechanisms come in two forms:
- Key Lock
- Combination Lock
Key locks work exactly like a house key or car key; the key turns an internal barrel which releases the lock. Generally resistant to lock picking, and with no code to remember, key locks are usually more secure, and rate higher on the Sold Secure Approved Product list.
Combination locks require no key, and are therefore quicker to use. Turning the numbers until they line up correctly releases the lock, and the code can be set to any number you desire. They are however considered less secure, as they are more vulnerable to impact damage, should a thief use a hammer or similar object.
What Features Should I Look For?
Depending on your budget, some features may not be included in the locks you’re looking at. The best advice would be to spend as much as you can reasonable afford, which will ensure that your bike is protected.
- Sold Secure Rating: Look for the highest rating possible required for your bike value. Gold is the highest rating on their scale; you can see who Sold Secure are here.
- Core Thickness: The thicker the metal core of the lock, the more resistant it will be to cutting tools.
- Locking mechanism: The options are key operated or combination operated. Combination locks can be quicker to lock and unlock, whereas key locks are more secure.
- Portability: Smaller cable locks often come with brackets that can be mounted to the frame of your bike, meaning they don’t need to go in a bag when you’re out riding.
- Overlapping shells: Premium cable locks utilise a series of ‘shells’ to cover the flexible core, like scale armour. This massively increases the resistance to cutting tools, as they can’t grip the cable well enough to cut through, and the overall thickness of the lock is also increased.